California Closer to Becoming ‘Sanctuary State’

The California State Assembly Judiciary Committee approved Democrats’ so-called “sanctuary state” bill on Wednesday, over the objections of law enforcement groups and Democrat-leaning sheriffs’ unions.

According to the Courthouse News Service (CNS), State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) claims that his Senate Bill 54, the “California Values Act,” is designed to prohibit all law enforcement in California from any and all cooperation with what he has dubbed the “Trump Deportation Machine.”

Earlier this year, De León told the committee that “half his family is in the country illegally” and that his relatives regularly commit identity theft in order to work in the U.S.

For De León, the new bill is all about Trump. He reportedly said that if another Republican had won the presidency, his bill would not be necessary.

De León insists that his bill “doesn’t safeguard” criminals, but Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, current president of the California Sheriffs Association, disagrees:

“We believe this bill provides sanctuary to criminals and makes our communities less safe,” Brown reportedly said. “SB 54 would result in many dangerous criminal offenders being released to our streets without proper communication and cooperation with immigration authorities.”

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a substantively similar bill (AB 1081) in 2012. In his veto letter, Brown wrote, “I am unable to sign this bill as written,” saying the bill barred cooperation in some instances he believes were serious. “I believe it’s unwise to interfere with a sheriff’s discretion to comply with a detainer issued for people with these kinds of troubling criminal records,” he explained.

In spite of the fact that a many of the criminal alien gang members arrested in recent raids in Los Angeles had gang ties to the notoriously brutal El Salvadoran prison gang known as MS-13, and had committed serious crimes previously, almost all of them would, arguably, have been shielded by SB 54 if it were currently the law.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and author, currently on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless. He ran for governor in 2014.

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

California Bills Target Private Business to Help Immigrants

As reported by NBC News:

California Democrats are expanding their efforts to resist President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigrants in the country illegally with bills aimed at limiting how much private businesses can cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Democrats control all levels of state government, and leaders have vowed to resist Trump administration policies at every turn. Immigration is among their key issues, but most legislation so far has been aimed at limiting what police can do to help immigration authorities and providing additional state services and support to immigrants in the country illegally.

Now, two bills that advanced in the Assembly in the past week are taking aim at private businesses.

A measure that would bar landlords from disclosing tenants’ immigration status or reporting them to immigration officials passed the chamber. A bill prohibiting public and private employers from letting immigration agents come into their worksites or view their employee files cleared a committee. …

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What Exactly is the “Rule of Law”?

court gavelPart of the difficulty in finding common ground on the immigration debate in California is a different understanding of a basic governmental concept: the “rule of law.”

California officials have readily used the phrase when it comes to resisting the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.

Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, admonished the administration for stalking courthouses looking for people in the country illegally when she told the state legislature in her annual speech on the courts, “I submit to you today that the rule of law is being challenged.”

California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, in responding positively to a federal court’s injunction halting Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities, declared, “This injunction is consistent with the rule of law.”

Yet, those opposed to sanctuary cities and California’s effort to become a sanctuary state ask that if people came into the country against the laws on the books, is not that a violation of the “rule of law”?

Some have even compared the efforts to ignore federal immigration laws to the nullification efforts future Confederate states used to challenge federal authority prior to the Civil War.

Differing views on what constitutes the rule of law intensifies the country’s political divide. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court will determine the law.

Cases before that court on the issue of state sovereignty have occurred in the past, of course. One case cited that may influence the outcome of a new Supreme Court test is Printz vs. United States.

This 1997 case, dealing with the Brady Gun Law, said the state could not compel local officials to execute federal law. The 5 to 4 majority declared that the Tenth Amendment to the constitution allowed the state to ignore a federal mandate, in this case requiring local law enforcement to enforce certain gun laws, because the constitution did not address the specific issue covered by the law.

Interestingly, the court majority, lead by Justice Antonin Scalia, were the conservative jurists on the court. Liberals may now use this decision to argue the Tenth Amendment allows states to declare sanctuary despite federal immigration laws because the sanctuary issue is not in the Constitution.

However, the Printz decision may not cleanly cover the issue of sanctuary cities. The majority opinion in Printz argued that the Framers of the Constitution allowed for federal regulation of international and interstate matters but reserved internal matters for the judgment of state legislatures. It may be argued that border security between nations is an international matter.

Cities can choose to not enforce federal immigration law, but they cannot stop the federal government from enforcing it. This is where the denial of federal funds to sanctuary cities comes into play and will ultimately be tested in court.

Despite the legal battle, it seems a basic understanding of what is meant by “the rule of law” is in order for the on-going immigration debate.

The American Bar Association attempted to frame a discussion of “the rule of law” in a three-page document.

The Bar Association dialogue started with questions:

“The rule of law is a term that is often used but difficult to define. A frequently heard saying is that the rule of law means the government of law, not men. But what is meant by “a government of law, not men”? Aren’t laws made by men and women in their roles as legislators? Don’t men and women enforce the law as police officers or interpret the law as judges? And don’t all of us choose to follow, or not to follow, the law as we go about our daily lives? How does the rule of law exist independently from the people who make it, interpret it, and live it?”

The site contains differing views from two civil rights historical figures.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an American suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leader of the early women’s rights movement, is quoted: “It is very important in a republic, that the people should respect the laws, for if we throw them to the winds, what becomes of civil government?”

But one can respect laws and still resist, The Rev. Martin Luther King wrote in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail. “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”

The Bar Association comments, “The rule of law is intended to promote stability, but a society that operates under the rule of law must also remain vigilant to ensure the rule of law also serves the interests of justice.”

Strict adherence to laws on the books in relation to a concept of true justice reflects the current debate over immigration issues in this state. Yet, perception by the public of how laws are enforced is as an important part of this debate as is a finally sliced Supreme Court decision on the law. The public’s understanding of the “rule of law” is the tie that keeps in place the foundation of a civil society. So, it is incumbent on all sides of this debate to make clear what is meant in arguing for the “rule of law.”

Joel Fox is editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens asks Trump administration to help her hold undocumented immigrants

As reported by the Orange County Register:

With most California governments and police agencies resisting President Donald Trump’s push to increase immigration enforcement and deportations, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is bucking the trend, telling the Trump administration she wants her department to cooperate more closely with federal immigration agents.

Last month, Hutchens met with several high ranking members of Trump’s administration in Washington, D.C., in part to communicate how her department, and possibly law enforcement in other large American counties, would be willing to impose federal immigration laws.

Her message: Neighborhood enforcement is off the table, but an enhanced immigration role in jails would be welcome.

Specifically, Hutchens – who was in D.C. in her role as president of the Major Counties Sheriff’s Association – asked the administration to provide a legal directive for her to detain some immigrants convicted of violent or other serious crimes beyond their set release dates so federal agents could retrieve and deport them. …

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More Immigration Raids Come to California

ICE 2New Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids have rolled out across Southern California, roiling state officials and triggering rumors of broader actions. But though the Trump administration has focused on expanding the scope and strength of enforcement, the current raids trace back to planning conducted at the tail end of President Obama’s term in office.

“Immigration arrests across Southern California over the past week were planned before President Trump took office and could be compared to similar operations the occurred last summer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said,” Fox News noted. “A decade ago, immigration officers searching for specific individuals would often arrest others found along the way, a practice that drew criticism from advocates. Under the Obama administration, agents also carried out arrests but focused more narrowly on specific individuals.”

Political pushback

But while California Democrats have felt more uncertainty and anxiety around immigration in the early days of the Trump administration, they have also felt a greater latitude to object to federal enforcement. “Democrats have complained about getting little or conflicting information about who was targeted in the raids that have panicked many in the immigrant community,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Democrats in Congress say Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told them Thursday the agency plans to employ a broader brush in making immigration arrests, armed with a new executive order from President Trump. Democrats and Republicans in House leadership met in a closed-door meeting with Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan to talk about last week’s immigration raids in Los Angeles and other cities, which netted nearly 700 people across the country last week.”

Fraught nerves have spread throughout areas of the state where support for so-called sanctuary cities, and opposition to the new administration, is high. “Rumors that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is rounding up undocumented residents throughout the Bay Area are just that — rumors, according to a spokesman for the federal agency,” according to the San Jose Mercury News. “One of those rumors resulted in an ‘urgent notification’ Tuesday to parents of students at a charter school in San Jose, said James Schwab, a spokesman for the federal agency. Similar rumors have circulated in El Cerrito, Oakland, Richmond and San Pablo. All of them have been false, Schwab said.”

Continuity and change

But confusion has persisted, and not only in California, over exactly how ICE has altered its approach to the current round of enforcement. “Under Obama, ICE agents mainly picked up what they called criminal aliens from jails around the country. But with this operation, you’re seeing these immigration agents fanning out into streets and neighborhoods,” John Burnett reported from Texas on NPR. “And that’s what left people so alarmed. I spoke with the Mexican consul here in Austin, Carlos Gonzalez, earlier today. The numbers he gave me was he says 49 Mexican nationals were picked up Thursday, Friday and today. He said that’s a significant increase over the usual apprehensions of undocumenteds here in Austin. And, of course, that doesn’t even include Central Americans or other nationalities that would’ve been picked up.”

The Obama administration’s official trigger for action, a so-called “threat to the community,” was not always applied by ICE this time around. Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told LA Weekly that an unofficial “sense of respect for families and immigrants” was “not always respected” by the previous administration, but did color its approach to enforcement and deportation. ICE senior spokeswoman Virginia C. Kice, told the paper the current actions were consistent with past practices. “Kice points to a series of targeted enforcement actions taken under the Obama administration in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, which netted 10 to nearly 20 times as many arrests as occurred last week,” the Weekly noted.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

The OC GOP’s Delicate Dance in the Age of Trump

As reported by the Voice of OC:

It wasn’t long ago that if you were looking for harsh rhetoric and hardline policies on immigration, you need look no further than Orange County.

Republican officials in the “reddest county in America” were not at all shy about deriding our porous borders and condemning those who advocate for amnesty for people in this country illegally.

Consider Costa Mesa Councilman Allan Mansoor, who gained both notoriety and criticism in the latter half of the last decade for his extreme positions, including pushing in 2010 a city council resolution to declare Costa Mesa a “rule of law” city committed to ending illegal immigration.

Mansoor had such a high profile on the issue that he was named an honorary member of the Minuteman Project, a radical anti-illegal immigration group founded by Laguna Niguel resident Jim Gilchrist.

And while Mansoor may have been among loudest local voices, he was certainly not alone. …

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Contentious Visa Program Under the Spotlight

130510_darrell_issa_mscott_328With contending pieces of legislation now up for consideration in Congress, California has returned to the national spotlight on one of the most contentious immigration issues — special visas granted by the federal government to attract foreign talent.

Long critiqued by economic nationalists, including some Democrats, the H-1B visa program has been accused of undercutting qualified candidates in key industries who are U.S. citizens. “The H-1B program offers 65,000 visas each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 reserved for foreign workers who have advanced degrees from U.S. colleges and universities,” according to Ars Technica. “The visas are awarded by lottery each year. Last year, the government received more than 236,000 applications for those visas.”

With the prestige, economic importance and compensation level attached to those jobs, they have become a focus of reform for allies of President-elect Donald Trump. “Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the highest-profile Republicans in Congress and a supporter of Mr. Trump, said Wednesday in a statement on his website that he is reintroducing a bill designed to ‘stop the outsourcing of American jobs’ and ensure laws are not ‘abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad,’” The Wall Street Journal reported. The bill would seek to achieve that outcome by hiking “required salaries for positions granted under the H-1B scheme that replace American workers from $60,000 to $100,000 per year,” according to the Journal.

Bipartisan frustration

In a sign of the cross-cutting partisan interests shaking up some established battle lines on immigration, Issa boasted a Democrat, fellow Californian Rep. Scott Peters, as the co-sponsor of the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act. Silicon Valley, where political allegiances at the end of the Obama era have begun to shift in new ways, has come under attack for its use of H-1Bs. “In 2013, the top nine companies acquiring H-1B visas were technology outsourcing firms, according to an analysis by a critic of the H-1B program,” Ars Technica recalled, noting that Microsoft rounded out the list’s top 10. “The thinking goes that if minimum H-1B salaries are brought closer to what high-skilled tech employment really pays, the economic incentive to use it as a worker-replacement program will drop off.”

But other big California corporations have not been left out of the criticism. “It’s specifically required that there be a shortage” in qualified candidates, Issa said of Southern California Edison, which he attacked for asking “employees being laid off to train their replacements,” as U-T San Diego noted.

“Edison said at the time of the layoffs that it was ‘not hiring H-1B workers to replace displaced employees. Any H-1B visa workers SCE does hire for its own workforce are paid a wage comparable to SCE’s domestic workforce. Disney and a handful of other California companies have been criticized in recent years for similar moves.”

Dueling drafts

Issa and Scott’s path forward has been complicated, however, by legislative competition from one of his fellow California delegates to Congress. “Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Santa Clara County Democrat, warned Thursday that she believes Issa’s bill could undermine Silicon Valley’s job market,” the San Jose Mercury News reported. “That’s because tech companies in a location such as Silicon Valley, where software engineers can command a starting wage of $140,000 a year, might still have incentives to use foreign workers for $100,000, Lofgren said.”

Casting her alternative as a return to the original intent of U.S. visa laws to attract the so-called best and brightest, Lofgen recently announced the details of a draft bill that will circulate formally in several weeks’ time. “Under her plan, employers who pay as much as 2.5 times to three times the prevailing wage in their metro area would get first preference to hire people through the H-1B visa program,” according to the Mercury News. Lofgren has suggested that Issa’s intended fix could leave some problems intact. “Raising the wage from $60,000 to $100,000 would do nothing to prevent the sort of outsourcing abuse we’ve seen under the H-1B visa program,” she warned, according to the paper.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

CA’s Democratic Members of Congress Plead for Obama to Pardon “Dreamers”

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

Led by members of the California delegation, dozens of House Democrats are again pleading with President Obama to pardon hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to whom he granted temporary deportation deferrals.

Last month, several members of Congress asked Obama to use his pardon authority to forgive the past and future civil immigration offenses of the nearly 750,000 people granted deportation deferrals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

The lawmakers say that even though the so-called Dreamers would be left in legal limbo without work permits or visas, they could more easily apply for legal status from within the U.S. without immigration offenses on their records.

A White House official immediately batted down the idea, saying a pardon wouldn’t give them legal status. …

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Border Patrol union welcomes Trump’s wall as ‘vital tool’

As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune:

The National Border Patrol Council has high hopes for President-elect Trump’s border security policies.

The union’s president, Brandon Judd, has been advising the Trump transition team. The union has encouraged the building of a border wall and changing enforcement policies put in place in the past four years.

San Diego-based Shawn Moran, vice president of the union, said a wall on the border would be a “vital tool,” and it’s difficult to say exactly where along the border a wall is needed.

“The problem arises when you secure one area, you push traffic to another,” Moran said, citing a Border Patrol program called Operation Gatekeeper that blocked entry to much of the San Diego area. …

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How Trump’s Win Might Spark CA Republican Revival

Donald Trump SNLMy title is, “How Trump’s Win Might Spark CA Republican Revival.” The key word is “might.” This statement is counterintuitive, given the hostility to him among many GOP ranks here. But bear with me.

There are two conditions: Taking immigration off the table and a Reaganesque economic boom.

First, immigration. But isn’t he nasty toward Mexicans and other immigrants? Hasn’t he offended Latinos so much they’ll never become Republicans?

The problem might – again, might – be that neither party has come up with a sensible policy on immigration, the failed attempts going back 30 years. A lot of people point out how President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which amnestied 3 million illegal aliens. Except the “Control” part of the Act never was implemented. So the amnesty part brought in millions more, increasing the number today to something like 11 million illegals.

A lot of these illegals – yes, I’m going to keep using the word – have become part of our community. An accountant friend of mine was talking with some of the Latinas at the construction company where he works. The ladies all voted for Hillary because they didn’t want their friends and neighbors deported. That’s understandable.

But what if Trump: 1) Builds the wall – for real. Which I think he will do. 2) Sharply restricts new immigration. 3) Makes a Trumpian “deal” on those here for a long time. Recent arrivals would have to leave. Those overstaying visas would have to leave. That would take care of half or so of the 11 million. But the other half would have some long-term path to citizenship, provided they pay back taxes and fill out all the paperwork.

If such a “deal” becomes real, the key will be effectively restricting new immigration. But if the “deal” happens, and really works, it will take the whole immigration issue off the table. Memories of Proposition 187, the illegals screening initiative thrown out by courts, will begin to fade, along with hatred of the California Republicans who pushed it. After all, a Republican president will have “solved” the immigration problem.

Second, Trump will have to boom the economy. He and the Republican Congress then would get credit for the prosperity lifting all boats, and all barcos. That will filter out here to California Latinos.

A 2012 Pew Research Center study found that Latinos still are moving up the upward mobility ladder that long has brought immigrants into the middle class: “Despite difficult economic times, in the long trajectory of their lives Latinos see improved standards of living when compared with their parents and expect their children’s standard of living to be even better. Two-thirds (67 percent) of Latinos (compared with 61 percent of the general public) say their standard of living is better than that of their parents when their parents were the age they are now.” It’s the old story of American prosperity.

Better yet, the Trump immigration cutoff would accelerate the assimilation. New immigrants suppress wages because the increased supply of anything brings about greater price competition. If new immigration is sharply reduced, then those already here would move faster up the upward mobility ladder.

As correctly was said of open immigration by legendary United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez, who has a state holiday in his honor, “As long as we have a poor country bordering California, it’s going to be very difficult to win strikes as strikes are won normally by other unions with the employer … . Now, there’s no way to defend against that kind of strikebreaking.” Except a wall.

That’s why the biggest defenders today of open borders are not immigrant groups, but big farms and other businesses that want to boost profits with cheap labor.

By contrast, when people gain upward mobility, they are less likely to seek the government benefits promoted by the Democratic Party and more likely to yearn for the tax cuts and business promotion championed by the Republican Party. That’s even more true now that the new president and party leader will be a famous billionaire.

So, if California Republicans want to get back in the game, they should stick to their pro-business, small-government principles.

Of course, I could be all washed up. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. Maybe there will be no economic recovery no matter what Trump does. Maybe ethnic resentments are too high. Maybe.

But Trump might (might!) have put an oxygen mask on the wheezing body of the California Grand Old and Decrepit Party. They just need to breathe deeply.

Thirty-year California columnist John Seiler now writes freelance. His email:writejohnseiler@gmail.com

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily